Eng209 Qiuxiang Wu (leah)
In chapter three “importing the third world” of “the working poor”, David K. Shipler writes about the difficult life of immigrants in America. He states that undocumented immigrants are underpaid, exploited, and abused in sweatshops. His purpose in writing this chapter is to inform us of the essential contribution that immigrants make, the unfair treatment they receive, and the confined life they live in America. In supporting his argument, Shipler also discusses that prosperity doesn’t necessarily bring a higher wage. In contrast, it lowers the wage rate and increases the gap between the wealthy and the poor. Furthermore, he goes on to talk about the barriers the immigrants encounter and modern American mobility. At the beginning of this chapter, the author describes the wages the immigrants make in the garment industry. These factories pay their employees by piecework instead of by hour. This means a worker must finish a large amount of pieces to even reach minimum wage. Normally they get paid low, some with nimble fingers can make the most money, around $6 per hour. Some without experience or dexterity can only make $3 per hour. What’s worse, sometimes they are cheated by contractors and get no pay. The immigrants are absolutely underpaid and mistreated, but they can do nothing because of their illegal status and the fear of deportation. Simultaneously, David K. Shipler addresses that business owners have to cut overhead because of their restricted profits. He gives an example of a conscientious employer named Nicole who pays her employees at least $8 an hour, which is very desirable. Even though her business sometimes is doing very well, she is really cautious about raising wages. For some business owners like Maria, high wages are risky because some trades take a long period of time to get paid. These businesses must have a surplus of money at hand in case something happens. So they’d rather give their...
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